P&M 24: A More Beautiful Question: an interview with Best Selling Author Warren Berger

Having all the answers is one of the pressures so many of you experience as you lead and manage your staff and teams. You got promoted because you were seen as someone with the right answer or having solutions and ideas. Your staff come to you because the organisational chart, by design, suggests that you’re the decision maker with the answers. When I think of all that, what comes to my mind is lonely, stressful and demanding: I think lonely because, on the face of it, the systems or processes look to you, singularly, to have answers and that, over time, with the demand, leads to a lot of stress.

AMBQCoverFinalStraightx800In his book, A More Beautiful Question, Warren Berger suggests answering less and questioning more as a deliberate strategy. In his research he’s uncovered that the most successful and creative people tend to be expert questioners.

I’m passionate about questions, it’s one of the reasons why I created the coaching questions card set the Management Success Cards. And reading Warren’s book has simply and delightfully inspired me to continue to develop my questioning skills.

In this People & Management episode I’m over the moon to be chatting with the author of A More Beautiful Question, the innovation expert Warren Berger. He’s a longtime journalist with the New York Times, Wired, and Fast Company and the best-selling author of six books, including the international bestseller A MORE BEAUTIFUL QUESTION: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas. He shows how innovators and dynamic companies harness the power of inquiry—one of the most effective forces for igniting change in business and life. He has studied hundreds of the worlds leading innovators, red-hot start ups, designers, and creative thinkers to analyse how they ask game-changing questions, solve problems, and create new possibilities.

Among many other questions, I ask Warren:

1. What got you into the world of asking better questions?

2. What have been, in your research and observations, the successful strategies that manager’s have used to ensure it is safe and acceptable for employees to ask the why and what if questions?

3. In your book, you describe the beginners mind, can you briefly describe it and tell us how a manager can nurture the beginners mind?

4. Of all the hundred’s of world leaders you’ve studied, who stands out the most as one who asks the more beautiful questions?


Warren-Berger-SquareCheck out Warren’s blog A More Beautiful Question.com – to learn more about beautiful questions. You can even send in your question e.g. of contributions are as varied as:

Why can’t the NYC subway turnstile make a nice sound?
How might we thrive and flourish amid tensions and contradictions?



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